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Mayoral Candidate Forum On Education Held At UFT Spring Conference

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Candidates for mayor squared off Saturday morning at a forum focusing on education.

Brooklyn City Councilman Sal Albanese, former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comptroller John Liu, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former Comptroller William Thompson participated in the forum, which was part of the United Federation of Teachers' spring conference.

At the forum, the six candidates agreed that education in New York needs reform.

They called for less standardized testing and criticized Mayor Michael Bloomberg's opposition to teacher pay raises.

Quinn was alone in the opinion that the next chancellor doesn't have to be an educator.

"I don't want to rule out today all the good advocates we know out there who may have dedicated their life to education but not necessarily taught in the classroom," she said. "Or look at somebody like Arne Duncan, now our Secretary of Education. Before he took over the schools, he had run a nonprofit. I don't want to rule out people like that."

De Blasio and Liu both said the education department should better involve parents and teachers in decision making.

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